As I played this over in my head, I have to tell you, I wondered could this really be classified as a phobia? The reason I say this is because a really 'good phobia' or a 'successful phobia' is usually achieved in what is called a one time learning. That is, you learn the phobia in an instant, on one occasion and from there on in always respond with almost paralysing fear, with accompanying increased heart rate, breathing, dizziness and your hair standing on end - and you never forget to do it, in fact, even thinking about it evokes the same response...every time. Just think of someone you know with a fear of spiders. If there is a spider in the loo they can't and won't go in there, no matter how great their need, until some else removes the spider and even then, they will still have the other person check it is now a spider free zone.
Now it seems to me that some people may over time develop anxiety over losing their phone or even being temporarialy seperated from it and all that it carries around in it these days; contacts, phone numbers, email addresses, notes from meetings, reminders, social life etc. etc. Although it is extremely easy to back it up theses days, I wonder how many of you do that regularly?
So as I researched the phenomenon I found that it seemed to be a two-part structure. On the one hand an addiction to the social contact represented by the phone and on the other hand a fear of having the connectivity severed even for a very short period of time. So I would be inclined to see it more as a form of addiction or compulsive behaviour. But that is just me, I wonder how you experience it?
That said I find it rather unhelpful to use these types of labels (phobia, addiction, compulsion) because it tends to presuppose that the person involved has little or no 'free will' or choice in the matter and I'm all for choice, because once any individual has choice then they are in charge of their world, their responses and their life.
So below is a very informal little bit of research to shed a bit of light on the Irish situation, (most of the information out there is from the US or UK), I could have added lots more questions but decided enough is enough. You can choose as many answers as apply to you. Enjoy :-)